Bergman Family Scholarship
The Foundation for Eden Prairie Schools (FEPS) announced the establishment of the Bergman Family Scholarship to be offered to Eden Prairie High School seniors in the Spring of 2021. Linda Bergman was a beloved 3rd and 4th grade teacher for over 15 years at Forest Hills Elementary. She especially loved and enjoyed working with her English Language Learning (ELL) students and celebrating diversity in her classroom. Since her retirement in 2008, she continued in her dedication to teaching by becoming the Tutoring Volunteer Coordinator for Baro, which means “learn” in Somali, at the Eden Prairie Library. Through that program she provided free tutoring for any student that needed it, as well as ELL help for parents. Her work at Baro led her to participate in other City of Eden Prairie committees such as PeopleFest and the Diversity Committee.
Her husband, Richard, was an Eden Prairie High School Alumni, and the first person in his family to continue on with a college education. Together they made their home in Eden Prairie and raised their son and daughter here. According to their daughter, Kelly Berge, “The Bergman family’s involvement with Eden Prairie Schools started in 1960 when my Dad’s family moved to Eden Prairie. My Grandmother got a job in the school’s kitchen that year and worked her way up to Director of Food Service before her retirement in 1996. My Dad and his siblings all graduated from Eden Prairie High School, as did my brother and I. I also taught 4th grade and 5th grade in Eden Prairie Schools for 8 years before becoming a substitute teacher, and now my children both attend Eden Prairie schools.”
Richard passed away in 2016, and sadly Linda passed away this past July in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. As her family was still grieving, Kelly contacted the Foundation for Eden Prairie Schools to inquire about the possibility of starting a scholarship fund for high school seniors. She and Linda talked about wanting to do something special for the Eden Prairie School District to give back to the City and a School District that had given her family so many opportunities over the years.
FEPS Executive Director Lisa Sisinni said, “In speaking with Kelly it was clear that she was intent on finding the perfect way to honor her parent’s dedication to education and opening up opportunities for students who are graduating that have overcome adversity. Kelly selflessly worked with FEPS to set up the Bergman Family Scholarship Fund, in honor of her parents, which will award student scholarships for continuing education for years to come!”
The Fund will award $1,000 every year to a high school senior who is pursuing post-secondary education and has overcome adversity, such as being an ELL student, a student who may be the first person in their family to attend college, or has had some hardship making the college dream difficult to achieve. Additionally, Kelly wanted to be sure that scholarship recipients could also apply for a 2nd-year $500 scholarship to help with costs once they were in school. Kelly said, “I remembered my college days when lots of scholarships were available for the first year, but it was more difficult to find scholarships for the second year of college.”
The Bergman Family Scholarship will be available for Eden Prairie High School seniors to apply for in Spring 2021 through The Foundation for Eden Prairie Schools.